When to Move On — March 29, 2013

When to Move On

I was thinking the other day about all the various projects left abandoned in various stages on my computer hard drive, back up discs, or in the form of scattered notes stuffed in a box somewhere.

I think it can break down about like this:

One completed novel that will never be revised
One MG novel left in the germination notes stage
Three YA novels left in the world-building, germination notes stage
One film screenplay in the development stages
One script for a television show I watch, started but not finished
Five short stories left unfinished
Four poetry collections left unfinished
Two completed adult novels that will never be revised
One NA novel left unfinished
One adult novel queried but never going further than that
One novella completed but I’m on the fence about revising

It’s all part of the process, I guess, learning to recognize when to move on from something. Learning how to recognize when a story isn’t in your heart enough to justify continuing on with it.

Apparently it’s a lesson I’ve learned pretty well. And I think that’s true, of me, at least. I don’t write something unless it absolutely has grabbed me by the throat. Like my next book idea.

Yes, I’m coming off writing hiatus in April and will be drafting a new book. I love this book idea and will definitely be seeing it through.

This idea, though, of needing to have a story firmly in my heart to see it to completion has me worried about all the book ideas I have planned for the world of Heirs of the Seven Realms. (The series name for Woven, which is out on query right now.) Most of them have slight crossovers with other books, and most take place after Heirs with direct consequences stemming from the events of both Heirs and Curse of Life. (The book I have in revisions right now.)

I’m tempted to write the first draft of all of them, just so I know they get finished. But at the same time that feels like a bad use of my time, considering they can’t get published unless Heirs does.

The Downside of Traditional or Epic Fantasy — October 8, 2012

The Downside of Traditional or Epic Fantasy

In re-evaluating the self-imposed deadlines I set for myself, I started thinking about the wisdom of writing the books sitting in my brain.

On the one hand, I feel like there are so many characters and stories in there right now there isn’t room for more, for different. That’s the biggest factor that makes writing these stories right now so appealing.

On the other hand, all these books hinge on Woven and its trilogy getting published. Events that are the crux of the story in Heirs of the Seven Realms inform the events of pretty much everything else. Characters sometimes cross over from book to book, and sometimes one story’s book will have a side or tertiary character whose offspring appears later.

Someone remind me not to ever come up with and entertain so many stories that cross each other again, okay?

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Project Overload — December 1, 2011

Project Overload

I realize I probably shouldn’t say this, but I have too many projects in the pipeline.

*dodges rotten fruit and vegetables*

Right now I’m sitting on two projects that I want to revise and four that I want to world-build and draft.

That’s not including the 4 short stories sitting on my hard drive unfinished and the 4 poetry collections I have in-progress and the 1 poetry collection I want to have published and the 1 collection that I want to write and submit.

Sometimes I wish my muse were an android I could rewire so she’d stop giving me story ideas and give me inspiration on the ones that are sitting there waiting to be brought into being.  Some of these projects have been on my shelf for years.  Others are much more recent additions.  All of them are equally clamoring for attention.

All this to say, if you see me tearing my hair out or muttering to myself in a quiet corner of Twitter (while rocking back and forth and looking around shiftily), just smile and nod and maybe call the doctor.  I’m likely going crazy from feeling overwhelmed.

How do you deal with project overload?